Membes blog: Top 5 tech trends for Associations in 2023

2023 will be a huge year for technology, with major developments in its abilities to support a variety of needs and wider adoption across all industries.

Associations who embrace the latest tech will be at an advantage with greater flexibility and access to information, allowing them to deliver a heightened member experience. Creating a seamless member experience is key to retaining and attracting members which is the core of every association’s business.

In this blog, we will list some of the current trends that will have a direct impact on Associations and empower them to better engage, connect and respond to member needs.

1. Open API

An open application programming interface (Open API) provides a significant opportunity for Associations as they need to support a wide range of member needs. Having a management system that is responsive and supports other software will allow for a nimble organisation and influence resource efficiencies and savings. It is so much easier when your systems communicate with each other so your staff can easily access one up-to-date source of information without having to log into multiple systems.

Membes offers a highly agile system as it comes with a range of ready to go software integrations including payment gateways, finance systems, video streaming, online learning and community engagement tools to name a few. This reduces the amount of duplication for staff as they only need to enter information into one system and then everything gets updated – this is highly valuable given the current staff shortages being experienced across all industries.

Associations need to be looking for software that uses Open API technology and uses it well, to ensure a seamless experience for staff and also for members.

2. Accessibility

Accessibility is all about making your information easier to access for all members of a community regardless of their technological skills, age, gender, languages spoken or disabilities.

There is so much you can do to ensure your website information is accessible from the way you organise your content (use of titles and body copy size), alt text for images (naming each image on your website), use of colour to distinguish content, being mindful when designing forms to ensure instructions are clear, and so much more! The Membes system allows you to address accessibility issues on your website, ensuring you can design content that is easy to read and understand.

Your members want to hear from you so make sure you understand, respect and respond to their needs by providing information that is easy to digest for everyone.

3. The Cloud

The Cloud has made several tech trends lists over the years, and no doubt this is because it continues to be such a vital tool for organisations – allowing us access to information right across the world – whether you are in the office, working from home or even mid-flight.

COVID saw a lot of organisations make the jump to Cloud as the remote workforce took off, however some organisations haven’t yet made the switch. It is a big transition to “go fully virtual” when hosting and accessing business information as it involves changing systems and educating staff/members on the new processes, but the resources it saves and benefits it delivers in the long run makes it well worth it.

The one big shift we will see this year is a focus on increased security for Cloud platforms to ensure information cannot be accessed by cyber criminals. Membes has recently made significant investments into its security to ensure customer data is protected and the team is continually updating systems to ensure best practice cyber safety is met.

4. Personalisation for Member Engagement

With inflation causing distress in both our personal and private lives it is more important than ever that Associations prove their value to members to ensure renewals time and member recruitment is successful.

Personalisation remains an important way to engage members by making them feel special and like a person rather than member 406. There are many ways to add personalisation into your member communications; the 2022 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report highlighted Associations reporting renewal rates of 80% or above sent a mailed welcome kit, emailed new members with ways to get involved and added a welcome phone call during the onboarding process.

Having a good database management system will make personalisation easier as you can track member-specific data, see where they are in their journey with you, schedule automated emails and use many other great tools.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will come into focus this year with new developments happening almost every day and more organisations looking into how they can leverage it.

One of the benefits and interesting parts emerging about AI is just how much it can enhance the output of almost any individual or organisation, regardless of the type of entity they are. AI is not here to replace us yet, but instead a tool to allow those who adopt it and bring it into their everyday workflows rise above those who do not.

Technology is in the spotlight this year and there is so much more to come. Our advice is for Associations to keep tabs on the latest offerings to ensure they can deliver the best member experience, relieve pressure on their team and use resources more effectively.

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By Membes | 7 July 2023